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Thread: PC Gaming Nerds, need some help....

  1. #1
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    Question PC Gaming Nerds, need some help....

    And I use the term 'nerds' in a positive way, trust me.

    I am attempting to wade my way into the PC gaming realm, after playing consoles exclusively forever.

    Wanted to play some older games like Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, have a somewhat older PC that should be able to handle it, but I had a question on the video card -

    The specs for Fallout3 (using this as an example) call for:


    CPU: 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
    CPU Speed: 2.4 GHz
    RAM: 1GB System RAM (XP)/ 2GB System RAM (Vista)
    OS: Windows XP/Vista
    Video Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better/ATI X850 or better)
    Sound Card: Yes

    Obviously these specs are older, so I would go with the much better video card, but not top of the line - but is there any danger in getting one that could be potentially too fast, or what are some pitfalls to avoid?

    I plan on upgrading the ram from 2gb to 4gb, and I'll most likely be running this on XP - thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    And I use the term 'nerds' in a positive way, trust me.

    I am attempting to wade my way into the PC gaming realm, after playing consoles exclusively forever.

    Wanted to play some older games like Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, have a somewhat older PC that should be able to handle it, but I had a question on the video card -

    The specs for Fallout3 (using this as an example) call for:


    CPU: 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
    CPU Speed: 2.4 GHz
    RAM: 1GB System RAM (XP)/ 2GB System RAM (Vista)
    OS: Windows XP/Vista
    Video Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better/ATI X850 or better)
    Sound Card: Yes

    Obviously these specs are older, so I would go with the much better video card, but not top of the line - but is there any danger in getting one that could be potentially too fast, or what are some pitfalls to avoid?

    I plan on upgrading the ram from 2gb to 4gb, and I'll most likely be running this on XP - thanks in advance!
    There is no such thing as too fast. Just make sure your power supply can handle whatever video card you buy. The card should tell you what watt it requires. Most (all) of the modern video cards use a pci express port on your motherboard so just make sure you have one.

    I mean...... hot chicks/red meat/football.

    Edit: Sorry didn't see that you wanted to buy a completely new one. Don't worry about the motherboard it'll definitely have it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton View Post
    There is no such thing as too fast. Just make sure your power supply can handle whatever video card you buy. The card should tell you what watt it requires. Most (all) of the modern video cards use a pci express port on your motherboard so just make sure you have one.

    I mean...... hot chicks/red meat/football.

    Edit: Sorry didn't see that you wanted to buy a completely new one. Don't worry about the motherboard it'll definitely have it.
    I've got 2 PCI slots free, this is my no means a custom gaming rig, just a retrofit to see if I can pull this off for gaming. If at worst case it doesn't work, then we have a faster desktop for other stuff.

    Right now its got 2gb of ram - so I would upgrade that to 4gb of ram - or could I then swap out that memory to say 4gb dimms each instead?

    I don't know what the ramifications are if I swap out the memory from 1gb per slot to 4gb or 8gb....I mean, can I fry my motherboard and will I set my house on fire?

    I'd have to open it up and check the wattage on the power supply, but most likely I wouldnt be getting any super-expensive video card or anything.


    Help me you mooks

  4. #4
    Come on dude. Do it right.

    2nd Latest ASUS Intel motherboard.
    Latest Intel model quad core, middle model. (Usually they come in 3 models/Hz)
    16gb RAM kit.
    Windows 7 64bit.
    256GIG Solid State Hard Drive.
    Last years best nvidia/geforce graphics card.


    That's how you build a powerful PC on a budget. Never buy the latest and greatest. Always buy what the n3rds already have. You'll never out-game them anyway. Might as well have the setup they are upgrading from at a reasonable price and then you get a PC that you don't have to rebuild for another 7 years.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by southside View Post
    Always buy what the n3rds already have. You'll never out-game them anyway. Might as well have the setup they are upgrading from at a reasonable price.
    "Them." "They."

    LOL

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    I've got 2 PCI slots free, this is my no means a custom gaming rig, just a retrofit to see if I can pull this off for gaming. If at worst case it doesn't work, then we have a faster desktop for other stuff.

    Right now its got 2gb of ram - so I would upgrade that to 4gb of ram - or could I then swap out that memory to say 4gb dimms each instead?

    I don't know what the ramifications are if I swap out the memory from 1gb per slot to 4gb or 8gb....I mean, can I fry my motherboard and will I set my house on fire?

    I'd have to open it up and check the wattage on the power supply, but most likely I wouldnt be getting any super-expensive video card or anything.


    Help me you mooks
    It's best to match your RAM so if you have 2 1gb chips.. just buy 2 more identical if you have room. If you have one 2gb chip.. buy another identical 2gb chip.. etc. You are correct in thinking that the video card is definitely the most important component, but like NorthSide said never get the new hottness because the one step down model is always better value and your ram/processor would probably the bottleneck anyway so a $400 graphics card wouldn't be worth it. But no you won't light anything on fire unless you spill your vodka on the rocks in there even if you have a different sized ram in each slot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    CPU: 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
    CPU Speed: 2.4 GHz
    RAM: 1GB System RAM (XP)/ 2GB System RAM (Vista)
    Screw that. What you want to do is reset the router. Bingo, bammo.

    Unplug, replug, presto chango.

    -

  8. #8
    Good guide for different budgets and what's best out there as of Q4 2012.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ming,3363.html

  9. #9
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    The only advice I have is do not get the machine the Sooth uses.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by shakin318 View Post
    "Them." "They."

    LOL
    So much for that resolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by jetstream23 View Post
    The only advice I have is do not get the machine the Sooth uses.
    ROR

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by southside View Post
    Come on dude. Do it right.

    2nd Latest ASUS Intel motherboard.
    Latest Intel model quad core, middle model. (Usually they come in 3 models/Hz)
    16gb RAM kit.
    Windows 7 64bit.
    256GIG Solid State Hard Drive.
    Last years best nvidia/geforce graphics card.


    That's how you build a powerful PC on a budget. Never buy the latest and greatest. Always buy what the n3rds already have. You'll never out-game them anyway. Might as well have the setup they are upgrading from at a reasonable price and then you get a PC that you don't have to rebuild for another 7 years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton View Post
    It's best to match your RAM so if you have 2 1gb chips.. just buy 2 more identical if you have room. If you have one 2gb chip.. buy another identical 2gb chip.. etc. You are correct in thinking that the video card is definitely the most important component, but like NorthSide said never get the new hottness because the one step down model is always better value and your ram/processor would probably the bottleneck anyway so a $400 graphics card wouldn't be worth it. But no you won't light anything on fire unless you spill your vodka on the rocks in there even if you have a different sized ram in each slot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton View Post
    Good guide for different budgets and what's best out there as of Q4 2012.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ming,3363.html

    How come I never see you guys comment in any of the video game threads before? I won't judge you guys (anymore).


    After doing some more analysis (re: on other messageboards ) it looks like Im good to with what I have for an entry level, all I need is a decent videocard, new hard drive, and Windows 7 OS. I found out using Windows XP 32bit will only recognize up to 3gb of RAM, which is gay, even if I were to upgrade it to 4gb from its existing 2gb.


    So since you guys seems to know so much about all of this stuff - say I get this all up and running - are any of you guys using your TV as your monitor? Biggest reason why I never got into PC gaming is because I'd rather sit on my couch, than sit at a desk playing these things...otherwise it's almost like Im at work (sans the funny pics).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    I've got 2 PCI slots free, this is my no means a custom gaming rig, just a retrofit to see if I can pull this off for gaming. If at worst case it doesn't work, then we have a faster desktop for other stuff.

    Right now its got 2gb of ram - so I would upgrade that to 4gb of ram - or could I then swap out that memory to say 4gb dimms each instead?

    I don't know what the ramifications are if I swap out the memory from 1gb per slot to 4gb or 8gb....I mean, can I fry my motherboard and will I set my house on fire?

    I'd have to open it up and check the wattage on the power supply, but most likely I wouldnt be getting any super-expensive video card or anything.


    Help me you mooks
    I don't know much about PCs, so this seems like the perfect place to post.

    I was going to say I think you can only use 3 or 4 gig RAM with XP. Need a 64 bit for anything more.

    Then I read your last post. So never mind.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big L View Post
    I don't know much about PCs, so this seems like the perfect place to post.

    I was going to say I think you can only use 3 or 4 gig RAM with XP. Need a 64 bit for anything more.

    Then I read your last post. So never mind.
    Thanks for reading it at least
    I don't want to get too crazy with this until Im more familiar with this whole process. If I can at least get something up and running with some success, then at least I have a little bit of experience to build upon.

    If this doesn't work, then everyone can expect some cane-shaking rage-type posts

  14. #14
    Just went thru this helping junior build a pc.

    Pcpartpicker.com and anandtech.com forums were solid resources and should be able to help you out.

    Oh. And for parts newegg.com was hard to beat.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    How come I never see you guys comment in any of the video game threads before? I won't judge you guys (anymore).


    After doing some more analysis (re: on other messageboards ) it looks like Im good to with what I have for an entry level, all I need is a decent videocard, new hard drive, and Windows 7 OS. I found out using Windows XP 32bit will only recognize up to 3gb of RAM, which is gay, even if I were to upgrade it to 4gb from its existing 2gb.


    So since you guys seems to know so much about all of this stuff - say I get this all up and running - are any of you guys using your TV as your monitor? Biggest reason why I never got into PC gaming is because I'd rather sit on my couch, than sit at a desk playing these things...otherwise it's almost like Im at work (sans the funny pics).

    Like I said, nvidia is pretty much a gaming standard video card. At the end of the day, it depends on how much money you want to spend. You can buy a $500 card or you can buy a GeForce GTX 650 Ti around $155. That's why I say, don't go for "cutting edge". But it sounds like you couldn't even do that if you wanted to. This video card is matching your computer's RAM output with 2GIGs of it's own RAM. But be warned. This video card takes up some space so just having a PCI express slot available isn't going to be enough. Most of the good cards these days have a two bay bulk to them. Meaning, you're going to need to make sure it will even fit on your motherboard with your other peripherals. I'd suggest bringing your box to the store with you.

    Get yourself a Solid State HD. They are expensive but they are 10 times quicker than disk drives and that WILL make a difference. Trust me. Plus they can't crash like two of my western digital drives have.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by southside View Post
    Like I said, nvidia is pretty much a gaming standard video card. At the end of the day, it depends on how much money you want to spend. You can buy a $500 card or you can buy a GeForce GTX 650 Ti around $155. That's why I say, don't go for "cutting edge". But it sounds like you couldn't even do that if you wanted to. This video card is matching your computer's RAM output with 2GIGs of it's own RAM. But be warned. This video card takes up some space so just having a PCI express slot available isn't going to be enough. Most of the good cards these days have a two bay bulk to them. Meaning, you're going to need to make sure it will even fit on your motherboard with your other peripherals. I'd suggest bringing your box to the store with you.

    Get yourself a Solid State HD. They are expensive but they are 10 times quicker than disk drives and that WILL make a difference. Trust me. Plus they can't crash like two of my western digital drives have.
    Definitely don't want to go overboard on a card my first time out. As of right now I should have the room -




    What how much gb on the hard drive would you roll with?
    I've never had any issues with any of the external WD hard drives before though...what do you normally use, Seagate?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    Definitely don't want to go overboard on a card my first time out. As of right now I should have the room -




    What how much gb on the hard drive would you roll with?
    I've never had any issues with any of the external WD hard drives before though...what do you normally use, Seagate?
    I'd still bring your box in because I'm not sure on what side you'll need the extra bay space. If it's the side towards the hard drives then you may be funked.

    I normally have WD actually.

    Disk drives fail, you need to buy them in 2s and use one for a backup. I kept not doing that until the last go around. The problem was I didn't update my backup hard drive for over a year and then it crashed again. Actually, it didn't crash. I have this magnetized wifi antenna that I threw in my backpack when I was moving. My HD was in there too. I didn't think anything of it. When I pulled out the HD to plug it in it was saying it needed to be formatted for first time use. I was so fkn pissed but I can't blame anyone but myself for that one.

    However, I'm using a OCZ solid state drive now. They are pricey though, running about $190 for 256 gigs. But, like I said, they are extremely fast and responsive. Best money I've spent on a computer related item in terms of one purchase having that kind of performance enhancement. If you are installing a new operating system I'd get the SSD, install it on that and install your game on the SSD as well. Use your HD as a backup slave drive for all other stuff like pics, music, etc... You'll notice the difference. My machine loads up in about 30 seconds. At the beginning, fresh install, it was 13 seconds.

  18. #18
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    Give me a budget and I will spec a system for you. Then you can buy the parts and I will build for you, gratis. I'm very good.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by southside View Post
    I'd still bring your box in because I'm not sure on what side you'll need the extra bay space. If it's the side towards the hard drives then you may be funked.

    I normally have WD actually.

    Disk drives fail, you need to buy them in 2s and use one for a backup. I kept not doing that until the last go around. The problem was I didn't update my backup hard drive for over a year and then it crashed again. Actually, it didn't crash. I have this magnetized wifi antenna that I threw in my backpack when I was moving. My HD was in there too. I didn't think anything of it. When I pulled out the HD to plug it in it was saying it needed to be formatted for first time use. I was so fkn pissed but I can't blame anyone but myself for that one.

    However, I'm using a OCZ solid state drive now. They are pricey though, running about $190 for 256 gigs. But, like I said, they are extremely fast and responsive. Best money I've spent on a computer related item in terms of one purchase having that kind of performance enhancement. If you are installing a new operating system I'd get the SSD, install it on that and install your game on the SSD as well. Use your HD as a backup slave drive for all other stuff like pics, music, etc... You'll notice the difference. My machine loads up in about 30 seconds. At the beginning, fresh install, it was 13 seconds.

    Damn, good stuff ss. Thanks for all of the info - great to know. The stuff you learn about people that you didn't know. You're Top 100 in my book.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    Give me a budget and I will spec a system for you. Then you can buy the parts and I will build for you, gratis. I'm very good.
    Damn - is there anything you don't know how to do?
    I may definitely take you up on that down the road - I am going to see how it goes with this current project for some much needed experience, and then take it from there.

    I'm sure the wife will be excited to know that in addition to the hours Ive logged in the PS3 that I will plan on doing this on the PC as well.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishooked View Post
    Damn, good stuff ss. Thanks for all of the info - great to know. The stuff you learn about people that you didn't know. You're Top 100 in my book.
    No problem.

    And I'd suggest a few other posters read your book.

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